Archive for superfoods

coco-choco-chia pudding

Choco-coco-banana-chia-goji Pudding - nu roots nutrition

One of the many fabulous things about pregnancy (yes, it really can be FABULOUS) is that crazy late night cravings inspire creativity in the kitchen. Especially if you live in a city where all the stores are closed at 7pm and as much as you want to send your husband out on a wild goose chase around town looking for your favorite chocolate bar, it really won’t do you any good.

The solution; keep deliciously healthy superfoods well stocked in the house and use a little common sense to combine flavors you think would taste incredible together!

I make no attempt to hide my love and desire for dark chocolate (especially of the raw variety). It has been a staple superfood in my diet for the past 5 years or so. It should come as no surprise that it has been one of my most prominent pregnancy cravings, and I do admit, I indulge from time to time…or all the time, whatever.

My inspiration for this creation: Commercial Chocolate Pudding – healthy styles (of course!)

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk (full fat is where it’s at)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (organic, fair trade and raw if possible)
  • 2 tsp unpastuerized honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or 1/2 whole vanilla bean – slice along one side and scrape out the beans
  • garnish with raw cacao nibs & goji berries (optional)

Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a personal blender (Magic Bullet type) or regular blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to make sure all the chia seeds don’t stick to the sides of the blender. Pour into small bowls or wine glasses and set in the fridge to thicken for at least half an hour. Garnish with goji berries and raw cacao nibs. Serves dessert for two.

In the fridge, the chia seeds will gelatinize and create a pudding-like consistency. This is due to the high water soluble fiber content in chia seeds, which will fill you up faster, ensure your blood sugar does not go soaring, pull toxins out of your body and help keep you regular.

Now let’s compare this to the “real deal”. I use this term sarcastically as obviously the above (my delicious recipe) is created using real food, and this “readily available commercial chocolate pudding”…well I’m not so sure there is any food in it at all.

Actual Commercial Chocolate Pudding…without naming names…

Ingredients: SUGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE)

Personally, this ingredient list makes me want to vomit, especially when I think of copious amounts of children downing this stuff daily. Notice how my recipe did not require any refined sugar, GMO’s (corn is often genetically modified), artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or anti-foaming agents?

But – there’s NO fat in it! Well it’s time that the no (or low) fat paradigm is done away with for good! It makes me want to scream (or maybe that’s just the hormones). Usually these types products are high in sugar and artificial chemicals, none of which are there to serve your health.

On the other hand, good fats, such as those that come from coconut, are incredibly nutritious and are are vital to your health (future post on good fats to come…stay tuned). In the meantime, don’t be so scared of fat, just make sure you are eating the right kinds.

Have I sold you on the healthy homemade version yet? I sure hope so! This recipe is so quick and easy to make and you will not be disappointed when it comes to flavor and satisfaction. Enjoy!

In health and happiness,

Sam

chia fresca may

chia fresca

It’s that time of the month again…no, not that one…resolution time! May’s resolution is extra special because it involves our very first product giveaway. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

May’s resolution is designed for your digestive system. It will keep you regular, (combating both constipation or diarrhea) boost your digestive system and provide a mild form of detoxification through the bowels. Hey, you might even shed some weight too! Just drink 1 glass (or jar) of chia fresca everyday!

Chia Fresca

Chia fresca is a Mexican beverage traditionally made with water, citrus, chia seed and a little sweetener (if needed).
As mentioned many times previously on my blog, chia seeds are my #1 fave source of fiber! A must for all, especially those of us who are pregnant and suffering the woes of a slowed digestive system…

Why it’s so amazing

First off, the sourness of the lemon will jump start the whole digestive process, just think about tasting it and you will start to salivate. This sets off a chain reaction of increased stomach acid, higher enzymatic output, and more bile purged from the liver – just trust me when I say this all translates to “better digestion and elimination”.

Secondly the chia seeds, an incredible source of water soluble fiber, cruise through the digestive tract sweeping up all the bile and giving it a first class ticket to the toilet where it belongs. Bile is our liver’s way of getting rid of toxins, old hormones and cholesterol – without enough water soluble fiber we just reabsorb all that gunk and it continues to circulate, yuck! This is why fiber is always recommended for those with high cholesterol. Also, it is great for weight loss because of many are carrying around a bunch of old poop in the bowels (as lovely as that sounds). I believe this chronic constipation may be due to the high gluten and dairy diet of North Americans, both of which can be extremely congesting on the gut.

And finally, superfood chia seed themselves get digested for all their amazing nutritional properties like anti-inflammatory, blood pressure reducing omega 3 fats. They also have more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach and a whole array of other essential nutrients like potassium, copper and zinc.

How to make chia fresca

  • 1 L pure water (ideally spring or filtered)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 to whole lemon, freshly juiced
  • few drops of liquid steva to sweeten (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a 1 L jar or other container with a lid (so you can shake it). Let sit for 15 minutes, shaking occasionally and the chia will develop a gelatinous layer around it, so it slides down your throat nice and smooth. Drink throughout the day, though this is best enjoyed in the morning for maximum benefit.

I look forward to hearing all about your favorite uses for this amazing superfood in the comments below. Feel free to post a link to your favorite recipe if you have one! Don’t forget to follow all the contest rules and enter to win Chia Goodness Cereal!

Happy chia fresca May!!!

Here are the rules again. You can enter to win one of my favorite wholesome breakfasts Chia Goodness Cereal by:

  1. Liking nu roots nutrition on Facebook (and hey why not twitter while you’re at it)
  2. Liking Ruth’s Hemp Foods on Facebook (maker of Chia Goodness Cereal)
  3. Telling me why you love chia seed or what type of recipe you love to use it in. Post it in the comments section below (on this blog post &/or on the Ruth’s Hemp Foods Facebook Page)

Please note that you must be in North America to enter (sorry to any of my new Euro followers).

 

superfood smoothie march

Superfood Smoothie

It’s a new month, which means time for a new resolution! February’s daily meditation proved to be a challenge for me, but one that has absolutely changed me for the better.

Half of the month was spent on vacation, 10 days in Mexico, and a week in my home town, Calgary. This made it particularly difficult to remember to take time out of my day to sit and be still, especially since coming home and running around like a mad woman. The most difficult of all was when I was so stuffed up from my cold that I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Open mouth meditation was odd, and unenjoyable, but I suffered through it :p

My most important lessons from February:

  • stop with the excuses
  • there is always time to meditate, even if it’s just a minute or two
  • meditation should not be looked at like a chore, but rather something that will enhance your day (and believe me, it did!)
  • you can meditate anywhere, in any comfortable position
  • use a little help if you need it – I loved the guided meditations on yogaglo, they helped me get into a deeper meditation then I can do on my own (I’m still a rookie)
  • most importantly – just do it!

If you still haven’t tried meditation I highly encourage you to give it a go! I certainly intend on continuing myself.

superfood smoothie marchI have decided to focus my march resolution on a nutrition goal, something I already love, and should be easily achievable for my followers. One superfood smoothie per day!

Superfood smoothies have been one of the single greatest additions to my diet since becoming a nutritionist. They were one of the first changes I integrated into my life, that made the biggest impact. If I get one superfood smoothie in every day I know that at least one meal a day was nutrient PACKED, and lets be honest, that would be a great start for many! I currently don’t always have one per day, so it will still be a “challenge” for me too!

When I first introduce clients to superfoods I tell them the easiest way to integrate them into their life is through a smoothie, now who doesn’t like a smoothie? They are quick, easy, and so tasty! There are many components that I feel are necessary in my superfood smoothies. They are:

  • 1/2 cup high antioxidant frozen (or fresh) fruits – like (organic of course) blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, any fruit really!
  • 1 banana for potassium, flavor and creaminess (or try 1/4 avocado)
  • 1 scoop (2 tbsp) protein – it’s not just for body builders! Failing to add protein to your smoothie may send your blood sugar soaring, which is followed by the inevitable crash. Protein will also help you feel full longer, making your smoothie more of a meal then a snack. Good choices include VEGA (Sport, Smoothie Infusion or ONE), Ruth’s Hemp Protein Powders (which can also be bought with superfoods already added, easy peasy!), AOR Advanced Whey (if you can do dairy), or Interactive Absolute Vegetarian.
  • 2 tbsp fiber – for so many reasons! It keeps you regular, balances blood sugar, pulls toxins out of the body, and if you use sources such as chia, hemp or flax seed, adds omega 3’s and lots of additional nutrition.
  • a handful of greens – why not?! You don’t taste them anyway, not with all the delicious fruit and yummy protein powder. I usually do either kale or spinach for extra folic acid and energy boosting B vitamins.
  • 1 cup liquid. It can be filtered water, unsweetened milk substitutes (I like almond, oat, hemp, or brown rice), you can even add freshly squeezed juice of your choice!
  • 1 tbsp omega 3 fats – usually in the form of a high quality flavored fish oil supplement, or you can try flax or hemp oil. We need more omega 3’s and putting them in a smoothie sure beats taking it off the spoon! I like Ascenta NutraSea or Seroyal
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of any or all your favorite SUPERFOODS! Well we couldn’t call it a superfood smoothie without them right? If you want the biggest bang for your buck (nutrient wise) try spirulina and chlorella. A tsp to tbsp depending on how adventurous you are of either will suffice. Bee pollen, for more B vitamins, protein and allergy prevention, maca root powder for hormone balancing and libido, raw cacao powder for anti-stress magnesium, and don’t forget the high fibre seeds are omega 3 rich superfoods as well (chia, hemp and flax).
  • other optional ingredients include 1 tbsp black strap molasses for pregnant or nursing moms, it provides an extra iron boost. 1-2 tbsp non GMO soy lecithin is great for fat digestion (if the fish oil makes you burp) and elimination. 1/4 cup kefir (a fermented dairy beverage) is loaded with good bacteria and yeast for your gut.

This is just a rough recipe, get creative and remember recipes are only guidelines! Now it’s time to run out and buy smoothie ingredients for a month…come on you can do this one with me!!

death by chocolate

Chocolate Spirulina Balls

If I could choose the method by which I leave this earth, it would be to feed me these little bites of chocolate goodness until my body literally explodes and my veins are oozing with raw cacao and spirulina. Ok, perhaps that is taking it a tad too far, but these delights are my weakness, my death bed last supper, my ultimate craving. The combination of sweet, salty and chocolatey goodness always leaves my mouth watering for more…and it actually has algae in it! Yeah, only a nutrition nerd like me wants algae on their death bed, but just you wait and try it before you judge!!

I am not opposed to sweets, IF they are homemade and packed with raw superfoods, as this recipe is. Of course it is best not to overdo anything sweet, but there is nothing wrong with indulgence of this sort.

The sweets best to avoid are anything made with white refined sugar and flour…so that eliminates most of what you would find at any cafe, bakery or regular grocery store, ugh! Good thing you have a resource in which to refer to when making your own sweet treats…I mean me of course!

Ok, let’s get to the goods! The original recipe is from David Wolfe’s Superfoods book, but I have made a few optional, yet delicious additions. I hope you enjoy as much as I do!

Spirulina & Chocolate Balls
David Wolfe – SUPERFOODS adapted by Samantha Peris, Holistic Nutritionist

Always choose organic ingredients, when possible.

  • ¼ cup hempseed
  • ½ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1-2 tbsp spirulina
  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 pinch celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt, finely ground (this is a must…the saltiness is divine)

Optional (any or all!)

  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tbsp organic nut/seed butter
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes

Mix all ingredients in a food processor, roll into 1” balls and freeze for 15 min then enjoy. Store in freezer for optimal freshness.

Then if you are feeling extra motivated, you can turn these superfood balls into:

Superfood Energy Bars

  • ingredients from above
  • ¼ cup whole buckwheat (soaked and rinsed)
  • ¼ – ½ cup oat flakes
  • ¼ cup goji berries
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein
  • ¼ cup nuts & seeds of choice

Just add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor (before rolling them into balls). For the bars you can press the mixture into a lightly greased (coconut oil) square glass pan or use parchment paper. Then freeze, cut into bars and enjoy on a hike or as a mid-day snack.

 

SUPERFOOD PROPERTIES (more info on my fave superfoods here)

  • Spirulina – 1 tsp = Antioxidants in 2-3 servings of vegetables, 70% protein, great for everyone!!
  • Goji Berries – 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, antioxidant. Add to trail mixes, breakfasts, tea, water (for flavour), smoothies, desserts
  • Raw Cacao – ORAC 620-955(14x flavanoids in red wine, 21x AO’s in Green Tea), high in Magnesium, in 28 grams there is 314% RDA of Iron. Commercial chocolate processed in temperatures up to 150C – destroying nutrients
  • Hemp seeds – high in omega 3’s, absorbable source of protein, complete protein, immune enhancing
  • Coconut oil – immune boosting, antiviral, metabolism boosting, great for cooking!

 

sam’s fave superfoods

goji, maca root, raw cacao, spirulina

Let’s face it, nearly every superfood is my “favorite” something or other…I may be a little over enthusiastic about them, but honestly, they are in fact really super. In general they are all known for their high antioxidant content, their ability to aid in detoxification, boost metabolism and help us maintain a healthy body weight. Note: some of these are what I would call “hardcore food nerd” superfoods, you are going to have to find these bad boys at health food & superfood shops…I may however post an “everyday grocery store superfoods” post soon though!

It was hard to narrow it down, but here we go:

  • Raw cacao(chocolate): Ok this one was obvious if you know me. Raw cacao has not been heat treated like commercial cacao powders, and therefore retains WAY more nutrition. It is the highest natural source of anti-stress mineral Magnesium, and a source of iron. You can get it as nibs (the whole bean crushed), a powder, or raw cacao butter for your skin or chocolate making. I can go on and on about this one (and I do in my 2 hour raw chocolate making class), but you really cant go wrong with raw cacao (sounds like kuh-kow):
    • most delicious food ever – check
    • 30x more antioxidants than blueberries – check
    • wonderful to add to smoothies, breakfasts, desserts or nearly every meal or snack – check
    • brings me joy like no other food on the planet – check
    • ‘nuff said!
  • Spirulina, chlorella, or other blue green algae: I call these my “whole food multivitamins” they are so nutrient packed that one tsp is like 2-3 servings of veggies for antioxidant content. I put 1 tbsp in my smoothie daily (you can start with less if the bright green colour freaks you out, but once you feel the energy this food provides, you will get over the alien-like appearance).
  • Coconuts: Young coconut water, raw coconut flakes and/or virgin coconut oil tend to make their way into my diet on a daily basis. Ok so maybe it is no where near “local” for us Canadians, but it sure is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. It is true that coconut oil is primarily saturated fat, but this kind of saturated fat is actually good for us! It is great for cooking as it can take more heat than polyunsaturated fats. It also boosts metabolism and kills yeast in the body. Young coconut water is a perfect electrolyte drink, so perfect it has been used for blood transfusions!
  • Hempseed: A fab source of our ever so important essential fatty acids (omega 3’s & 6‘s). Omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, blood pressure reducing and hormone balancing. We need more 3‘s North America, so eat up! Use hemp seed on your breakfast, in smoothies, drink hemp milk or sprinkle on salads. They are an excelled vegetarian source of protein with loads of fibre to boot.
  • Chia seed:Yep, the same seed we used to plaster on ceramic animals and stick in the window sill (ch-ch-ch-chia). One word says it all – REGULAR. Seriously my fave source of fibre, the good kind that helps pull toxins out the body and well, ensures a regular morning visit to the can. Another fabulous benefit of chia is that it helps to regulate blood sugar (type 2 diabetes is on the rise every year). Try it in smoothies, on breaky or in water with fresh squeezed lemon (just shake it up before you swig).

    hemp, chia and flax seed

  • Unpasteurized honey: Loaded in B-Vitamins, our energy spark plugs, raw enzymes to help us digest and the taste is unsurpassed by any other sweetener (in my opinion). Use as a sugar sub by using 1/2 to 3/4 cup honey per 1 cup of sugar in your recipe, and reduce other liquids in the recipe by 1/2 cup per 1 cup of honey. It is also a natural anti-microbial and is great for coughs & colds. Please don’t feed to kids under 1 for risk of botulism.
  • Goji berries: They look like little red raisins, but pack a nutritional punch. Again, crazy high in antioxidants and for this reason have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. I eat them by the handful, in trail mixes, in my breakfast porridge, or even throw them in my water or tea.
  • Golden berries (Incan berries): The highest protein berry (16%). They are tart yet sweet, making them the best healthy substitute for sour candies. I prefer to eat them solo, but many others enjoy them in a trail mix or with other dried superfood berries.
  • Maca root powder: A fabulous hormone balancer, libido booster, fertility enhancer, also used for strength and endurance for athletes (or the Incas back in the day). It comes from the cruciferous veggie family, a root similar to a radish that is dried, then ground to a powder. Again I would throw 1 tsp – 1tbsp in a smoothie, or add to raw chocolate bars.
  • Kelp: Seaweeds are our highest source of iodine, which runs the thyroid and boosts our metabolism. They also help to pull heavy metals like mercury out of the body. I find the easiest way to integrate seaweeds into my diet is by sprinkling a little kelp powder into savory sauces, dressings and soups. We only need a little bit every day.
  • Matcha green tea powder: I was only going to do 10, but I couldn’t leave out the all mighty matcha. Matcha is powdered green tea leaves, with TONS more antioxidants than regular steeped green tea. It also boosts metabolism, keeps cholesterol in check, regulates blood sugar, detoxes and alkalizes the body. I try and start nearly every day with a delicious nut milk (usually almond) matcha green tea latte, add a few drops of french vanilla liquid stevia (a zero calorie, all natural sweeter)…deeeee-lish!

Stay tuned for more ideas and recipes on how to use these glorious foods.

Also check out David Wolfe, superfood guru, for additional info via videos and books.

I’d love to hear about how you use your fave superfoods below :)